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Chapter 19: Pick Up the Roses and Avoid the Thorns

It does not disturb me or my individuality if you say no. On this point Maneesha is right, that whenever she has said no, she has suffered the consequences. But that is up to you - not my expectation. It is going to be your understanding that when you say no, you have taken yourself as if you are wiser; you will suffer the consequences.

I have not said to Sarjano, “You will not suffer the consequences of your no.” But it will not be from me: not that I will be annoyed, not that I will be irritated, not that I will be angry. It is perfectly okay with me whether you say yes or no. But for yourself there is going to be a difference. Yes means you are listening and following what I am saying. No means you are deciding for yourselves. As far as I am concerned you are absolutely free to decide for yourself, but then you have to be ready for the consequences also.

Freedom brings responsibility.

That’s the meaning I continuously repeat, and I know you don’t understand. Everybody likes freedom and nobody likes responsibility, but they come in the same package; you cannot separate them. I give you freedom and I give you responsibility. You cannot complain about me, because you are always free to say no. You cannot say that I have inhibited you, because I have not asked that you say yes whether you want or not. You cannot blame me.

This is absolutely true, that whenever you will say yes, you will find a peace, a silence. And whenever you will say no, you will find a deep burden on your heart, almost a wound. But you are creating that wound. And I will not prevent you, because I know that preventing provokes people to do the same thing that is being prevented.

A famous Tibetan story.

A man was serving an old master continuously, bringing food, bringing water from the well, massaging his feet. And the old man used to say, “Why are you wasting your time?” because the old man understood perfectly that there must be some desire.

Finally, one day the man said, “I am serving you because I want to learn some miracle, just one miracle.”

The old man said, “But I don’t know any miracle. You have unnecessarily wasted your time. You should find somebody else who knows about miracles.”

But the man said, “I have been told that you always deny that you know any miracles, and you go on continuously performing miracles. I have been told, ‘Don’t listen. Go on serving him. One day he will tell you some secret, but only when he finds you are ripe.’ Perhaps I am not ripe yet.”

After a few days the old man saw that this man is still unnecessarily working. “Somebody has put the idea in his mind that I perform miracles. Perhaps miracles happen, but they happen on their own. I am not the performer.”

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